Counter-protest near Oregon wildlife refuge

Posted at 3:30 PM, Jan 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-23 17:30:35-05

BURNS, Ore. (AP) -- The latest on an armed group that took over buildings at a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon.

At 2:15 p.m. local time, about 40 people gathered Saturday near a national wildlife refuge in Oregon to protest against a group occupying the land.

The counter-protest began at about 1 p.m. at an overlook about five miles from the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

The crowd chanted, "Go home, Bundys," naming the leaders of the occupation.

The group has occupied the national wildlife refuge since Jan. 2 to oppose federal land use policies.

Katie Fite from Boise, Idaho, called the occupiers bullies and said their action could give rise to other hate-filled efforts to take over public lands.

Kieran Seckling with the Center for Biological Diversity said the Bundys want to stage other occupancies like the one in Oregon, but he says there's no town in the West that wants to be the next Burns, Oregon.

The counter-protest was punctuated by bitter wind and sleet.